Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lazy weekend

On Friday, I thought I might go to work on Sunday. It's Sunday and I'm thinking that's a terrible idea. Came out to Union Market again--don't do this every weekend, but it's one of my potential routines. The fellow at the coffee shop greeted me by name--nice! A few weeks ago, he asked my name and said, "I should know it by now." Well, I suppose since he's been working the same coffee shop (previously at a different branch) for over five years and I've been a customer longer than that, yes, it would be kind of nice if he remembered me. So now he does. But I don't know his name. I've never been one of those chatty customers that tries to make friends with the staff. I always say hello and make eye contact. Sometimes I chat if it's not too busy and I have something to say. Maybe next time I'll ask his name. About time, right?

At the coffee shop, I also saw a guy give a one dollar tip on a two dollar cup of coffee. Generous? Sure, but also lazy since he paid by credit card and the automated system that gives you the opportunity to tip starts with $1. Lazy.

And I'm also overhearing a long conversation about "wearables." Specifically, the Apple watch which, "no one is fucking interested in, you know what I mean?" No, tell me more. Wait, don't.

Next week is Passover and I'm gearing up for a tiny Seder. Right now it's three and may be as many as five. Small is good. But I still have to buy a lot of food and make ridiculous things because...because I do. I have no memory of it but I guess I had a small Seder last year. Who was there? Who can remember? Elizabeth, C-money, Pele? Well, that's who I've invited this year, plus a couple more who can't make it. It's fine. It'll be nice.

I am still going on the occasional date but I'm feeling discouraged. I'm a discouraged dater. I think I need to de-activate my accounts for a while. I never go out anymore and I don't find the opportunities to meet people "in real life." Maybe that's the problem? Also on the free site, about 90% of the contacts I get are from fake/scammer accounts. I'm pretty good at spotting them these days but that's also really discouraging! You can tell they're fake because if you ask a real question, say about politics, they won't answer or say "I don't have any politics" and then ask "what are yours?" I don't usually get that far in any of those convos, but that's the question I ask now and it really stumps them.

Work, work is pretty frustrating but I actually think it's going pretty well. I am doing what needs to be done but I'm not enjoying it very much. Still better than the old job! That's what I need to remember until I decide on my next steps.

It's getting chilly in here. I need to move.

Grateful for: a decent life.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Seattle

Should I try again for something more positive? This week, I'm on the west coast. I started in Berkeley on Friday for my dad's birthday.  Then I came up to Seattle and I'll go back to DC on Sunday. I've actually been working the whole week in Seattle, up to and over six hours a week. Yep, that's my job! I did this last summer and it worked out pretty well. Seemed to help me get along with Mom and structured my time. It means I don't get to do as much exploring/reminiscing around town but that's ok.  I am seeing the two friends I always see and thinking about all the old friends I never see.  Today, I walked from Mom's house to the U-district. Sitting in a coffee shop and thinking about working but maybe I just won't work. I haven't decided. Maybe I do need to take at least one work day off on this so-called vacation.  I don't even know how much leave I have. Almost none after my December actual vacation...but they'll let me go in the hole, so I can't complain.

It's raining lightly but I have a decent coat that kept me dry on my half hour walk this morning. I'm maybe half a mile from campus, which is my next stop. I'm feeling kind of lazy and kind of ready to be home.  Funny how that works.  Why does being around your own stuff make such a difference? I have to say, I rather enjoy the limited wardrobe travel imposes. So many fewer decisions to make. I've been reading about famous people's self-created uniforms (think Steve Jobs). I love that idea but in the professional world, it's a bit harder to pull off unless you own the company. Then again, I'm almost on my way, as I only have two pairs of work pants at the moment. I'm also trying not to buy any new clothing...maybe for the rest of the year? So that leaves me with a limited, but still large, set of choices. I'd love to give away about half my closet, but gearing up for that decision is also tiring. I like the idea to simplify the day by reducing choices. I do have a set breakfast these days, and that does make life easier. I cook more and bring that for lunch, also easier. Eating out for lunch is now a treat and not a chore. Also on this trip, I started up my morning exercise routine again, taking advantage of my early waking times. I am not purposefully staying on east coast time but I'm not trying to adjust to the west coast either. I'm sure I'll still be a mess the first week I'm back, but maybe I can keep on the exercise thing. It does make me feel better and that would help with the cheering up, right?

Ok, time for the second walk of the day!

Grateful for: Seattle.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Timing

I'm back at my coffee shop, which isn't a coffe shop at all. It's Union Market and I got here a bit too late to easily find a table...but I did eventually suceed. I want to put something a little happier out in the universe after my last post, but what can I say, I am finding dating very discouraging. I keep meeting people online who seem ok, and then in real life, it's a total bust. Two weeks ago I had a date that went pretty well, but when he never called again, I was more relieved than disappointed. Last week, I had a date that went poorly and I was relieved when it was over. Today, I was supposed to have a date--first he delayed and then he canceled. So annoying. Maybe I will have a date with a different guy tonight and possibly a third guy tomorrow. Both of those are probably dates I shouldn't have made because the guys are too young for anything long term. I've been open to other things but I wonder if that's why I'm so disatisfied now. I don't want a date or two or three here and there. I want one relationship with one person to last a long time. People do it all the time and even people at my age seem to manage it anew, so I'm going to try and stay hopeful and positive rather than needy and pessimistic. Yeah, good luck with that.

Work is also pretty frustrating at the moment. I keep butting heads with "Laura." She is the woman who used to be the project manager for the project I now manage. It's clearer and clearer to me that she's in an impossible position and nothing we do is going to make it easy for her to continue on the project. I'm almost 100% sure that she has to go...but how can I help her exit gracefully? She is already pissed at me...and I'm not very happy with her either. I understand that she wants autonomy--been there!--but that is a bit different than me only having the most general idea of what she's up to. This has to change, I've asked for transparency, but she continues to resist and undermine my ability to manage the project. I'm not sure what the next steps are but I'm working on it.

The real problem with all of this is that I'm back in the same situation as I was in my old job. My work is consuming, and my personal life is kind of a bore. At least a lot of work is actually intersting now--but this personal/personnel issue is starting to overwhelm everything else. I'm getting stressed out and feeling more and more on edge. It's not good, it's not healthy and it has to stop. Man, I really wish I had a boyfriend. Sigh.

Well, total fail on the cheerfulness front! Guess I'll move on to the next exciting part of my day--cleaning the house. Hooray.

Grateful for: a good job and a decent place to live.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just another weekend

Back to a coffee shop routine. I managed to make it out this Sunday morning before the real crowds showed up. I'll head home soon too so I can finish my laundry and do a little knitting before our condo work afternoon. That's right, I actually corralled my condo-mates into committing two hours to clean up our back yard. This was prompted by our very annoying absentee neighbor's email about how messy things were. This is the guy who is renting out his unit. He also suggested that we revise the parking assignments becasue the people I rent my second space to are blocking everyone else in. Except I haven't rented out my second space since November. Don't let the facts get in the way of your chiding, asshole.

Anyway, that's all good. Work is all good. Friday, I went to an interesting talk and had dinner with friends. Yesterday, I slept late, watched stupid movies, read, and knit. Late afternoon, I went grocery shopping and cooked dinner. Even later, I saw a guy. This is a guy who I've been out with before but it was a while ago and we just reconnected. I steer away from certain kinds of details on the blog since I'm not completely anonymous, but I am so annoyed at him. I just want to know when a particular intimate activity became something that wasn't considered "vanilla." I have noticed that how people define "vanilla" varies wildly. The use of that term is kind of a new thing too (like the expectation of no hair anywhere). Many years ago, I remember having a conversation with Audrey about what was considered "kinky." We decided that "in these modern times" even anal sex was only borderline kinky, though obviously not to everyone's taste. That meant that most varients of intercourse and oral activities weren't kinky--and if something isn't kinky, it's vanilla, right? Well, this guy who I saw yesterday seemed to think that only manual activities and intercourse are vanilla. He even said, "I'm pretty normal and conservative about this stuff. A lot of guys aren't into it." You know what "it" is now, right? I just...I don't know what to say to someone like that. Ok, I do know what to say, which was, "A lot of guys ARE into it. It's pretty important."

I've recently read a couple of romance novels...I know, it's so not me! But the quality of the writing is acceptable and they're...romantic...and a little sexy. Some of the situations are anachronistic, but it's still fun. These are historical romances and it's a little hard to believe the amount of oral action these 19th century ladies are getting...but I kind of wanted to make him read these books. This is the core of these books--how exciting and pleasurable that activity is...that entire books put the emphasis there instead of on intercourse. I know some women say they're not into it, but my (overly judgemental?) opinion of those women is that they're not in touch with their sexuality, which is unfortunate. I understand how that can happen. It's hard to let go and enjoy yourself. Sex in general leaves one feeling very emotionally open and that's hard for a lot of people. But c'mon--it's a whole trope in discussions men have (or the ones on tv, movies, and jokes) about how they want oral sex. It is so weird to acknowledge that women want it too? If you're not willing to even try to give your partner what they want, you are a lousy lover. Anyway, I was super frustrated with him and his line of non-reasoning. I really need to find some different guys! Where are they hiding? I'm finding guys, but they're just all wrong for me--and, not very right for anyone at all, as far as I can tell.

Did I go too far or just far enough? Sigh.

Anyway, here's a knitting pic. I went up to NY/NJ last weekend. I gave my niece the socks she asked for last year. She put them on immediately and didn't take them off all day. That's just about the highest praise a knitter can get. My SIL also sent me home with a commission for stranded mittens. That will be fun.

It would be so great if you could tell me I'm not crazy, but I'll keep my expectations low.

Grateful for: generous lovers.

 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New York

I am on the road--or more accurately the train--to New York. This trip actually starts in Manhattan. I'll roam around on my own this afternoon, meet my Uncle for dinner, meet a friend for a drink (probably), then head to NJ to see my brother and his family. The key was to pack light. I think I have succeeded but we'll see how "effective" my choices were by the end of thIe day. I have only one bag. The cool canvas backpack I got for work. It's pretty spacious and inside that bag I have a packing cube with an extra shirt, undershirt, underwear (2 pair), socks (1 pair), minimal toiletries (brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, moisturizer), socks for my niece, and a couple of other things. Then I have all the stuff I normally carry in a smaller bag--pens, tissue, lotion, etc. Then I have a shoulder bag where I put my wallet and knitting in case I need to "decant" the larger bag, possibly to make room for yarn. My uncle got me a gift certificate to a NY knitting store. I am going to visit there and see what I can see. I don't have a strong need for yarn right now--I just bought a ton for projects for nieces. But maybe I'll find something for me? I'm not going to "force" myself to buy anything.

I don't want it to sound like a hardship--the idea of buying things--but it sort of is. Having this money--and the money I earn myself--is a huge privilege. But it's kind of a burden and everything just seems to collect, collect, collect. I am getting to the point where I'm ready to jettison some of my handknits. I had thought about bringing a whole pile of them with me on this trip, but the light packing precludes that. Still, I do feel a kind of weight of all my possesions. Things I don't need and don't use that just take up space. Yarn isn't in that category--I need it because knitting is my hobby and a great source of happiness and accomplishment. But all those trousers I'll never wear again? The many bags? I dunno. Some of it needs to go and probably soon. Maybe I'll do a real spring cleaning/clear-out this year.

Work is good. It took me a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of it, but now I feel good and confident. I have more supervisory responsibility and I'm looking forward to it. Could it be that I will like being supervisor? Who knew?

Dating is blah. I'm sure I'll come around to it soon enough but right now the guys in the queue are so not interesting. But you never know about that either.

Grateful for: a weekend away.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Weekend

Another lonely weekend. Ok, not true. Another weekend without any plans with other people. I have plans for myself--grocery shopping, cleaning the house (a little), knitting, consuming media. Should I go to the movies? Should I take myself out for a drink later? I wonder why I never/rarely have plans on a Saturday night. I don't feel bad--I'm not sad or lonely--but it does seem odd that this is so normal for me these days. Maybe I'm just not that sociable? This week, I was able to go back to knitting group for the first time in almost a month and I was really looking forward to it. It felt so good to be around a group of companionable people. I told some stories, I listened to some stories. The group keeps shifting so each time the mix and dynamic is a bit different but usually it's good and friendly. We haven't had any awkward moments for years.

I did have a "date" on Thursday. A quick drink with a guy who I first met online years ago who randomly contacted me earlier in the day. In fact, he'd mistaken me for someone else. He was embarrassed; I was amused. We decided to meet. He didn't have much time but I enjoyed meeting him and he was quite good looking and interesting. He's not boyfriend material (you have to trust me on that), but he might be somebody I could spend some time with. I'm also planning a date with another guy for next week.

Here's the thing--all of these dates are during the week. A lower committment, less meaningful time. And maybe these guys have weekend plans...I mean, I do too, sometimes. For example, I'm going out of town next weekend. So there!

I am also slowly stepping up my fitness. Goodness it's a slow process. I let go a lot in November and December. I think I'll keep my slow and steady pace through January and maybe try the jogging thing again in February. I've never liked running, but now I kind of miss it! What is that about?

What else? I've been really good about the cooking thing. I know I can't keep it up forever--the question is, when I slip, how long will it take me to get back on the bandwagon? The other problem is that I don't like a lot of recipes from the service I'm paying for. They're ok but not great. I don't know what to do about that.

What about a picture? Here's a scarf I'm knitting at my niece's request. This is kind of a funny story. I was in Israel, I was talking to my niece. She mentioned the scarf I knit for her about six years ago--at that time, I made a scarf for everyone in the family--well all of the girls. I later made a scarf for B2 (brother in Israel) and one of my nephews-in-law at his wife's (my niece's) request. So a different niece says, "Remember that scarf you made me? My husband really likes wearing it!" Short pause. I said, "So...does that mean you need a new scarf?" She smiled and said yes. I kind of love that. So we talked about the color etc. The next day, I saw her again. She says, "I told my husband you were going to knit me a new scarf and he said he'd like a new scarf too!" Ha ha! She's lucky that she's my favorite (ok, not really--but her husband is a great guy and he might actually be my favorite of the three husbands so far). He liked the color of the yarn I used for the hedgehog for their infant son. When I got back to the US, I went searching online and the yarn below is what I'm using for one of their scarves. My niece likes this color too...but I decided not to make two scarves from the same yarn.


This is the yarn for the second scarf. They can decide amongst themselves which belongs to whom. Or maybe they'll just share!


Here's a sweater I knit over a year ago, but I did some repairs to. I just added that ribbon and new snaps. I'd used the press-on snaps and they damaged the yarn. You can't see it in this pic, but I also added about three inches to the sleeves. So much better now.


At least it's a good time for knitting!

Happy weekending.

Grateful for: time for myself.

 

 

 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Resolutions

As a rule, I don't make New Year's resolutions. I do sometimes contemplate them. For example, I thought I would try and blog every day. Just put up a picture, a quick word, something. But I never follow through on things like that. I chafe when put that kind of pressure on myself. I'm less likely to do the thing I want. This is kind of a resolution--to do more cooking at home. I had a phase of it this spring but my summer and fall traveling messed up the routine. Now that I'm back from my long vacation and getting into my daily routine again, I've managed to cook for a full week. (A funny thing--as much as I like to travel, it really messes me up at home and at work--I take forever to get back to normal.) I have most of the ingriedients for next week's dinners too. I'm using one of those meal planning services and that seems to do the trick. I get a menu of four meals every week. I chose two last week and two this week. Then I make extra and I get some lunches and dinners out of it. I still eat out a couple of meals, but much less than before. And much fewer frozen meals--which are decent tasting these days but wasteful (packaging) and expensive for what you get. Plus I feel like a stupid kid eating that stuff when I know how to cook. Sure, it's a drag cooking for one--but you get lots of left overs, which I don't mind eating at all. I am not naming the menu service--maybe I will later--because I don't love the recipes. They're ok, but often something is just a little off. A sauce that's a touch too sweet or that ends up too soupy. Mostly the flavors are good, but I have to do a little more improvising to get things right. And the prep instructions are terrible! The owner of the site has these sweet little prep videos, but her technique isn't great. I would like a lot more written instructions on exactly how things are meant to be prepped (diced, chopped, etc.). But, the genius of the thing is that someone else decides on the menu. That really is the hardest part! The site also has gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options. I'm trying out the paleo versions and I actually like them a lot better than the "regular" style--which usually have lots of rice and noodles, which I'm fine with skipping. I also have a regular breakfast I'm eating now, which I don't seem to get bored of, so that's a third of the day right there (blueberries and/or granola with yogurt). I'm even making coffee at home most days. Not every day. None of this is to save money, but to make eating more enjoyable and a bit more under my control. Enough of that.

I knit my mother a nice pair of socks that I finished just in time for her birthday. She was pleased with the socks but not so happy with me. I went off on that long vacation to see family--but not to see her. And I didn't call her while I was away. And I guess I waited too long to call her after I got back. And it was her birthday, which is on January 1 and usually not a happy day for her. For many years, I made a particular effort to be home in Seatttle for her birthday. I'd find a restaurant open on New Year's Day (not that common) and take her to dinner. Or we'd go for a nice long walk. Or something. But a while ago, I stopped. It didn't work with my job and my life in DC. I always call her, of course, and for a while that was enough, but not this year. Anyway, the socks are nice. Hopefully, she'll forgive me. Our call on her birthday was terrible. She just had nothing to say and I when I started talking (about work--sigh), she cut me off in frustration. I asked questions but she wouldn't be drawn out. I love my mother but she can be difficult. I won't give up.

Last, I did go to a party on NYE and it was fun. First time I've been to a NYE party in a million years. It was at the in-law's of a not very close friend who I know through knitting. I had no expectations other than it would be odd. It was odd. But there was plenty to eat and drink and we danced. Dancing is good. I drove home after two in the morning, but it was fine. No traffic at all. I slept well and had a lazy New Year's Day--though I did manage to take a nice long walk. I also nearly finished knitting a scarf (per request) for Pele. Today, it is done, just in time for her birthday! I'm on a roll. I also came back from Israel with four knitting commissions (two scarves, a pair of socks, and a vest). My nephew's wife is pregnant, so a new hedgehog has to get on the needles. That was kind of funny--this time it wasn't nearly as much fun handing out hedgehogs because all of the recipients were infants. Toddlers are a better audience for stuffed animals.

Random great-nephew with hedgehog:

Grateful for: a more or less happy new year.

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 29, 2014

10th Anniversary

Ten years. TEN YEARS. That's how long ago I started this blog. Kind of hard to believe. I was young once....haha!

I don't have too much to say today. I'm recovering from jet lag and the ends of the cold I picked up overseas. I had a good trip, despite the mild illness. The time with family was exhausting. Was it also a little sad? I sometimes get the feeling that I'm standing still and everyone else is moving on--but that's only true in the sense of husband and children. Things I very much want...still, by other measures, I have a good, full life. Lots of friends, a great place to live, all the material possessions I need, all the ones I desire (including a car, three bikes, tons of clothing, YARN, etc.), and many that are completely superfluous (car?, two of those bikes...).  I don't feel unhappy most of the time. I'm pretty even keeled with the odd ups and downs. Normal, I think.

Per usual, I don't have my New Year's plans settled. I do have a potential party, but haven't decided if I'll go yet--it may not be any fun and I barely know the hosts. I could see a movie in the neighborhood. I could go out to a bar on my own. Or I could skip it and stay home. The party will probably be the way to go, just in attempt to avoid becoming a total shut in.  It's hard to think about it since all I want to do (at 6:30pm!) is sleep. I will fight to stay up to 10pm tonight and then not be able to get out of bed in the morning. I think this week is going to be like that. Oh well.

While I was in Israel, one of my nieces suggested that I should marry Spesh and move to Israel. Pretty funny. What's funnier (maybe) is that she's not the only one who thinks I should get together with Spesh. My friend Alicia suggests it every time I see her. Nancy also agrees. I told Spesh, "My niece thinks I should marry you and move to Israel." He said, "Why would you move to Israel? That doesn't make any sense." I said, "Right. Of course. You should move to the States." He said, "Of course." A fictional marriage to one of my closest friends...that's about as serious as the dating gets around here!

Doubt I'll be writing soon...so I'll wish you a Happy New Year in advance!

Grateful for: my good life.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A sign

A sign in the German Colony neighborhood in Jerusalem, near my apartment.  I like it because of the odd translation. In the US, it would be something like, "Buy Municipal Parking Tickets Here." In the UK, it would be more polite, "If you so desire, municipal parking tickets can be obtained nearby." Heh.

 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jerusalem

I'm afraid the pics didn't come through in the last post, but I'll see what I can do to fix it later. It's all a bit difficult on the iPad.  I wrote the last post while I was in transit to Tel Aviv from Paris. Now I'm in Jerusalem. Similar set up as in years past--I have a nice little flat in Jerusalem right next to Dad and Susan (stepmother). I'm also a bit sick so I've just been sitting in here and watching movies so far today. That's a vacation, right? Since it's Saturday (the Sabbath) there's nothing open anyway. I should still probably go outside at some point since the sun is shining. I did some laundry and I've drunk quite a bit of tea. Dad woke me up around 9am to go back to B2's (brother in Jerusalem!) place but I was so out of it. I didn't think we were planning to leave so early and I was too sick to go running around. Anyway, I'm here at my litte home, laundry on the line, wondering if I should have yet another pastry. I am a bit hungry but I think something more nutritous might be good. Some soup, perhaps? Does this mean I have to take a shower? The horror.

Here's a few pics from Israel so far...

Spesh being interviewed at the fundraising art show for the movement (against the occupation)


Typical Israeli soldier

Hanukah mobile

My last unmarried niece (this pic doesn't do her justice). She's 20 and I can't bear to see her grow up!

Grateful for: time to relax.